10. Upgrading SharePoint Site Definitions from v2 to v3: RUNNING THE UPGRADE

You'll recall that back in Blog 4 of this series we created the following hierarchy of virtual hard drives:

  1. BD1_SPS03_AD_SQL05
  2. BD2_SqlData (optional second base disk for holding restored Sql databases)
  3. DD1_MOSSGradualUpgrade
  4. DD2_TestPortalsToUpgrade
  5. DD3_RunPortalUpgrades

In this way all of the changes related to the installation of MOSS end up on the DD1_MOSSGradualUpgrade, all of the particular test portals we want to test end up on the DD2_TestPortalsToUpgrade, and the actual run of the upgrade ends up on the DD3_RunPortalUpgrades.

It should be noted that you can always discard one of the upper differencing disks and create a new one - to rerun the portal upgrade for instance, but if you ever modify a lower level differencing disk, you won't be able to use any of the higher ones again. This is why it is a best practice to mark the parent disks as read only.

At this point we have:

  1. Run Prescan against our SPS03 Portals/WSS Team Sites, and we ran the MOSS Configuration Wizard (Blog 4 in this series).  
  2. Created new custom Master Pages (Blog 6 in this series)
  3. Created any custom lists (Blog 7 in this series)
  4. Upgraded any custom web parts (Blog 8 in this series)
  5. Created MOSS versions of the Custom Site Definitions including the WebTemp and Upgrade Definition files (Blog 9 in this series)

We are now ready to run the upgrade.

To run a Gradual Upgrade 

Go into the SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration, and under Operations -> Upgrade and Migration you will see an option "Site content upgrade status" (if you don't see this option, then most likely you didn't select the Gradual Upgrade option when you installed MOSS). Click on that and you'll be able to set up the upgrade.

Detailed instructions can be found at:


Including instructions on how to do all this using STSADM instead of the Central Admin UI.

If you back up one screen, you'll see another option, "Upgrade Settings". There is an option under there which you can set to automatically reghost the sites. I have added an additional blog entry (subsequent to this one) explaining once again what Ghosting, Unghosting and Reghosting mean...

Rather than Reghosting all of the sites, you may want to consider leaving them Ghosted, and then letting your end users decide whether to Reghost after the Upgrade. They can use the "Reset to Site Definition" option in Site Settings to do this on a site by site basis.

Now you need to go through and resolve issues in the sites as you run the upgrade (there will be some tips on this in Blog 11 in this series).

To Run the Database Upgrade

Once you've run the Gradual Upgrade and remediated any issues with your upgrade files, then you need to set up to run a database upgrade.

This will involve the creation of three new differencing disks, the top three in our stack:

  1. BD1_SPS03_AD_SQL05
  2. BD2_SqlData (optional second base disk for holding restored Sql databases)
  3. DD1_MOSSSideBySide
  4. DD2_TestPortalsToUpgrade_02
  5. DD3_RunPortalUpgrades_02

The MOSSSideBySide disk has a new copy of MOSS installed, this time with the Side by Side option. As before, just install up to the point of where it launches the Configuration Wizard, but don't run the Configuration Wizard. Add the TestPortalsToUpgrade Disk and the Portals that you want to test. Then add the RunPortalUpgrades, and then run the Configuration Wizard (only because I have several times encountered problems adding SPS03 sites after running the Configuration Wizard).

This process of running the Database Upgrade (migration) is well documented here:


After running the upgrade, you'll need to put your Shared Service Provider in place. There is an excellent list of tips on upgrades in general, but especially on putting the SSP in place, in Alan Coulter's blog found here.


Look at his steps 14 to 21.